Proud of being angry

It was a lovely day. I spent most of it napping in the bed with our youngest son. When I wasn’t sleeping, I lazily read my favorite manga. I did much of the same for the afternoon. By the evening, I felt enlivened and revitalized. I was actually able to respond from a space of love rather than exasperation. However, within an hour all that went to shit and I got angry.

I was angry because it actually takes will power to chill because there is always something to do. I was angry because it takes work and space to calm myself down. I was angry because I was actually peaceful for once and that shit felt good! Peace radiated from my heart, infused my being and reminded me that despite everything I love. Man, I was so angry.

Then it dawned on me, I love this anger. I love this anger that protects me so fiercely. I love this anger that guards my connection to my loving self. I love this anger that wants peace, goodness and sweetness for me. I love my anger and it feels so good.

Loving my anger has allowed appreciation for other emotions to blossom as well. Anxiety is my invitation to slow down and annoyance is my reminder to use my energy and time more selfishly. I no longer feel burdened by my many many emotions. I feel cared for; which is amazing and new.

Loving and caring for myself allows me to love from a space of love rather than from detriment. I don’t really have to give until I can’t give anymore. There is no shame in caring for myself  because there are ways to refill my cup that are easy for the whole family <3

We’ll see what bubbles up next..

Take Precious Care

J

 

Mommying Mommy: I love my Mommy Issues

I remember preparing to get pregnant with Little Boo. I worked so hard to get through, what I considered to be my “shit”. Specifically, my shit is an accumulation of habits, attitudes, perspectives and patterns I used to get through childhood. The shit was helpful then. It really ain’t so helpful right now. I worked with intuitives, saw a shaman, prayed, read, went to therapy. I did all I could to “heal” myself of this pain I’ve been feeling for so long.

Little Boo finally came. We moved from the west coast to the east coast. I watched my father die of cancer. I started working again. Life moved on and expanded beyond my Mommy Issues. But somehow, like always, I am here again with this pain. It stirs within me. It grabs my attention and wrestles me to the floor. It takes me over and I succumb to it; forgetting who and where I am.

Here I am again with this pain in my chest. Here I am again preparing to do battle with a part of me that.. maybe I should not be fighting. I mean, if something grabs my attention from within me– it must have something important to say. I am learning to listen. If something is tugging at my pants leg because it wants me–it must need me. I’m working on stopping and loving it. Slowly I am learning to stop fighting my pain. It has something for me and I don’t need to fight it.

As I have learned to be kinder to me my pain has calmed down and softened a bit. I don’t only get more pain when I stop and listen to it. Sometimes I get a five year old hugging me from the inside and telling me that everything will be okay. Other times, I get invitations to imaginary tea parties and a strong desire to wear fancy hats.

Since my son is a toddler, sometimes Little me takes the place of pain and plays with my son. It seems to bring everyone involved fun.

Slowly, I am learning to stop seeing pain and start hearing myself. I am learning to attend to and address my own needs. I am learning to love myself and all my little Mommy issues. All I needed to do was to stop fighting myself and start listening.

 

Take Precious Care,

J

Mommying Mommy: Feeling what I am feeling

Because I am no longer able to day drink, I’ve been working on creative ways to be present with challenging emotions that arise while I am with little one….

Things we’ve been doing that seem to work:

  1. Omming
  2. Deep breathing (focus on exhalation)
  3. Singing

Things that don’t seem to work:

  1. Thinking about my emotions*
  2. Snapping at lil Boo

*I want to note that thinking about my feelings is quite different than actually acknowledging them. I notice that I have a tendency to actually judge whatever I am feeling rather than just feel it. For me all my feelings are bad and thus should not go any further than bubbling up from the depths. I’m working on that though 🙂

Slowly but surely I learning to Mother myself as I am attempting to Mother Little Boo. I will let keep you posted as things unfold.

 

Take Precious Care

J

 

Still in the body: Transforming nature of Emotions

So, I am still working through Peter Levine’s book: Healing Trauma. I am currently at an exercise where he asks that you track sensations in the body as preparation for sitting with your emotions. After grounding and centering yourself, he suggests that you sit with whatever emotion comes up. He asks that you observe and feel said emotion in your body without analyzing, naming or putting it into context. Levine asks that you sit with the emotion until it changes.

I want to say that I find this practice easy. That would be a lie, though 🙂 It’s challenging to do in the moment with a toddler. Sitting, feeling acknowledging my mounting anxiety while watching my son get his breakfast everywhere but his mouth hasn’t quite worked for me :).

When I am alone and feeling courageous, sitting with emotions is much easier. I find that I am sometimes even able to restrain my desire to classify and make sense of what I am feeling and why. Grounding into the sensation that the emotion causes in and around my body helps me stay present. I find the more I pay attention to my body, the more at ease my mind is. It’s like my mind becomes absorbed with the body rather than with itself.

The practice of sitting with emotions as they evolve reminds me of yoga. Even though my yoga practice occasionally makes me uncomfortable; the more I practice the more things change. Sometimes things change for what seems like something better. Sometimes, things get worse. But the more I practice, the more I feel like I can handle whatever comes up because I have space to handle it with. I love space. As long as I can have space, I can get through anything.

We’ll see what bubbles up and through next!

Take Care,

Jeannette

 

 

Playing with my emotions: Anger & Jealousy

The more I stay in my body, the more I experience emotions that I would rather not 🙂 It’s a bit intense and I can see why I fly out so much 🙂

Anyway, this post is about anger & jealousy. The more I continue to engage my anger and jealousy the more I am noticing that an unmet need is behind it. Anger is an emotion I feel often and am quite comfortable with. I would say I am almost too comfortable being angry :(– which is why it pops up so much.  Jealousy however, I am not as comfortable with. I judge myself when jealousy pops up. When jealousy and anger pop up together, I know that I have been shorted from something very important to me. However, my challenge has been discerning whether what I am missing is in the present moment or in the past.

I often get suckered in the present moment because everything reminds me too much of the past. My life is super trigger happy. Quite often I over react or misjudge what’s in front of me because a much younger part of me that is in pain is in control of everything. I am alternatively run by a surly 5 year old and a raging 13 year old. 38 year old me usually recoils in horror and shakes her head; wondering how the fuck things got this way. When I am fully engaged, present and in my body I can discern whether what I am feeling originates in the past or the present. Then I can take appropriate action. My challenge in the moment is often staying in my body and delaying my response until I can understand what is going on and who is captain of the ship today.

When I am able to be present and discerning in my body, I can see how anger and jealousy help me. I can see they show me how to best heal and support myself. Anger shows me how I have allowed others to take advantage of me, how much that hurt and how not to do it again. Jealousy usually lets me know what I am giving away or what has been taken from me that I want to keep. Especially when coming from little me, these powerful emotions have been very helpful.

The more I am willing to listen to little me’s voice in the form of intense and powerful emotions, the more integrated I feel. The more I am able to address and heal that which hurt me in the past; the present can finally be the present and not some continually painful childhood. I am discovering that little me’s wisdom just wants to be heard and integrated. Can’t let all this suffering go to waste. It has to be good for something 🙂

Take Precious Care!

Werk through the pain

Staying fully grounded and present in my body has been a challenge this week. Holiday preparations have been triggering in unexpected ways. Although this could be part of the grieving process, it does not quite feel like missing my father.

The wonderful thing about being triggered is that I can now consciously see what I am like when I am in the midst of an emotional flashback. It’s become clearer and much more tangible. The challenging thing about it has been waiting for the flashback to clearly end. I feel like I  constantly cycle between kiddie and teenage years. So, on top of acting like a pissed off 13 year old who is about to burn the house down,  (13 year old me had good reason– I promise) I am an occasionally surly 4 year old. 🙁 My poor husband.

In the midst of all this, I’ve also started identifying a few coping mechanisms. One of my favorite ways to cope is to pop out my body. The only times I have felt fully present and engaged in my body this week have been when I was rough housing with my son, practicing yoga and listening to mid-late 90’s NYC based hip hop. Otherwise, I have been out to lunch with no desire to go back to my body. 🙁 Unless, I can catch myself and remind me that I am no longer a kid; which seems to help bring me back.

Here are a few more observations from this week:

  1. Being fully engaged and present in your body can be overwhelming, especially if you are working through any challenging emotions, trauma, or just anything that ain’t fun. Even if you aren’t working through anything, life is a wild thing to witness. Sometimes we all wish we could shut out eyes. Some of us do. I’m learning to no longer judge myself or others; just to focus on doing the best I can in the moment.
  2. Since Rhodiola has popped up in my lexicon, saying that I need to work with her, I am questioning whether numbing nervines are really helpful to me, right now. Rhodiola doesn’t feel like she wants me blissed out. She feels like she’s going help me work.  How much pain or inner turmoil is useful in healing and how much is too much to  handle. Now, I am sure the answer to that question is different for everyone.  I am just noticing that a little bit of pain helps me feel my way through to what needs to be worked on. If I feel no pain, I do no work. When I am overwhelmed with pain, I check out to lunch. I find that I need a balance between pain and pleasure for me to work.
  3. That there is so much more going on that emotional flashbacks and feedback loops. I have an arsenal of coping mechanisms and protective behaviors that are no longer  helpful. With an emotional process  there are usually  mental, spiritual and physical processes to sort out as well. But since I am emotionally driven, sorting out the emotions will help me bring the other pieces in order. Everything in time 🙂

That is all for this week 🙂 Take precious care and enjoy the holidays!

Jeannette

PS– what?! Rhodiola? Yes, Rhodiola with some Nettles, Oatstraw and Lemon Balm… as a tea taken daily 🙂 Keeps me alert, present and sucka free!

Mourning through Motherhood

Here is a short list of the herbs that have helped me mourn my father while being Mommy. Please note that I didn’t work with all these herbs at once. I find that some plants helped for different parts of the process. However they all have and continue to support me as I grieve and raise my little one. Also, I breastfed while working with all these plants and had no problems. If you are very concerned, please contact your doctor, midwife or lactation consultant.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic Arnica: Homeopathic Arnica was great for when the death was fresh. It kept me grounded and present so I could actually remember to grieve. Arnica didn’t take the pain away for me. It reminded me that I had just gone through something very painful and that I should take precious care of myself.

Homeopathic Ignatius Amara: Ignatius Amara kept (and still keeps) me from being emotionally constipated. When I wouldn’t let myself cry or be sad, Ignatius Amara would hold space for me to cry or be sad as much as I needed to. It helped me to keep flowing  and helped me to feel without judgment or overwhelm.

How the homeopathic remedies worked with me: For the first 3 months or so, I would take either Arnica or Ignatius Amara (sometimes both) every 4 – 6 hours. I needed all the help I could get at the time.  After three months, I backed off a bit. Now, when I recognize that I am having a rough time, I take some Ignatius Amara. I love Arnica, but for me Ignatius Amara is more gentle.

Tinctures

Elderflower Tincture: I love Elderflower. Elderflower will help you channel your energy in the most beneficial direction. So instead of spiraling into the darkness of what had happened, Elderflower helped me keep one foot in front of the other; moving in a positive direction. Note: This does not mean I had an easy time. It means that in the midst of sorrow, I had a light pulling me forward. There was something that had confidence in my ability to make it through and was rooting for me. For me, this is what I needed most.

Rose Tincture: Rose Tincture helps remind me how my I love my father. No, the man was not perfect, but thanks to Rose’s help I can remember and celebrate what I love most about him. Rose’s love also helped me say all I needed to say to him before he passed, so neither of us needed to carry that.

Peach Tincture: Peach has softened any harsh left over feelings I held towards my Father. It’s allowed my heart to expand and feel compassion for things he did that hurt me. Peach has also been instrumental in keeping my anxiety from running wild. My anger and anxiety have vastly increased as part of the grieving process, Peach keeps things in check for me. (Sweet Violet is another tincture that’s great for anger and anxiety.)

Reishi Tincture: Together with Peach, Reishi has helped to heal old scars on my heart. It’s increased my empathy for Dad and helps me feel like he’s not too far away. Reishi is perfect for deep heart work, and I would play with it more, but it upsets my bowels if I take it for more than a month at a time.

How the tinctures worked with me: I love some tinctures. They are easy to work with. I would take a dropper full in my mouth every morning. Teas I would forget or get stressed out over. Tincture I would rarely forget. I find that I forget, it’s time to play with another tincture. They usually call to me in advance , so if I am being on top of things, I already have what’s needed.

Essential Oils

Frankincense Essential Oil: I started playing with Frankincense oil right before my father died. It has a soothing, calming presence that helped to ground me. Frankincense oil is a great go-to for working through Daddy issues.

Myrrh Essential Oil: Mourning my Father’s death, inflamed grievances I have with my Mother. Myrrh helped keep me steady, in integrity and grounded as I dealt with my Mother. Myrrh is great for working through Mommy issues.

Geranium Essential Oil: Geranium’s big bright spirit brought youthful joy and peace. It helped me to feel resilient and strong. She also has a way of helping you work through things in a simple, easy and almost playful way. Geranium is fun and uplifting, yet protective.

Bergamot Essential Oil: Bergamot kept me from descending into the abyss. He kept me light and fired up. There would be no way that I couldn’t find light to see or understand if he was around. If you are clinging to the edge and want something to bring you light and joy, Bergamot on your hands, belly or the bottoms of your feet can help.

How the Oils worked with me: The Essential oils wanted different things from me. Sometimes, they wished to be put into a diffuser and kept near all day. This was perfect for winter. Now a days, the usually like to be put on my skin in specific places. Bergamot loves my belly and the top of my head. Geranium wants to be on my heart, in the front and on the back. Frankincense and Myrrh go in various places on various days.

Here’s my list 🙂 There are plenty of other Herbal Allies that will support you through grief, but these are the ones I know 🙂 I hope this list has helped you in some way.